App sale

Jeff Bezos interested in bidding on Commanders, possibly with Jay-Z

Comment

A day after Washington commanders announced that owners Daniel and Tanya Snyder were considering selling the team, speculation about a potential buyer spread and at least one big name was confirmed to be interested: the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos.

Bezos has an interest in bidding for the NFL team, according to a person familiar with the situation, and his bid could include music mogul Jay-Z as an investor. The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because the potential sale of the franchise is in its early stages.

“I don’t know if they’ll partner up,” the person said, adding that everyone was “interested.”

Daniel Snyder plans to sell Washington Commanders

Bezos owns the Washington Post. Amazon offers the NFL’s “Thursday Night Football” package.

The news of Bezos’ interest was first reported by People.

Some league members have said for several years that Bezos was interested in buying an NFL franchise at some point. But he apparently didn’t participate in the bidding for the Denver Broncos, which were sold by the Pat Bowlen Trust in June for $4.65 billion. to a group led by Walmart heir Rob Walton. NFL Owners officially ratified the sale in August. It was the record sale price for an NFL franchise and made Walton, with a net worth estimated by Forbes at $59.2 billion, the richest owner in the league.

Bezos has an estimated net worth of $113.2 billion, according to Forbes, which ranks him as the fourth richest person in the world.

Commanders said Wednesday that Daniel and Tanya Snyder, his wife and franchise co-CEO, had hired an investment bank to “consider potential transactions” related to commanders. The team did not say whether the Snyders intended to sell the entire franchise or a minority stake. A spokesperson for the commanders said Wednesday: “We are exploring all options.

Consideration of a sale comes with Snyder and commanders under investigation by the NFL, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the DC and Virginia attorneys general. Investigators with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia questioned witnesses about allegations of financial impropriety involving the team, several people familiar with the situation said Wednesday. The team denied committing any financial malfeasance.

Forbes estimated in August that the Commanders were worth $5.6 billion. The day after the commanders announced, those in and around the NFL began considering a list of potential buyers that could include some of the wealthiest people in the world.

Media contractor Byron Allen, who has already made an offer on the Broncos, is also preparing an offer for the commanders, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who also spoke on condition of anonymity due to the early stage of the process. Allen, if successful, would become the NFL’s first black primary team owner after the owners approved a resolution in March endorsing diversity in franchise ownership.

“[NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodel and [New England Patriots owner] Bob Kraft had courted Byron Allen to take a look at the Denver Broncos because they wanted to do everything they could to make history and have the first black owner of an NFL team,” a said the person, who clarified that Allen would not join any groups as a minority investor. “The only thing Byron Allen would care about is ownership control.”

The group mentioned by industry analysts and other observers includes Bezos and Jay-Z; Tesla and SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk; Washington Wizards and Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and his partner in bid for the Washington Nationals, Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein; and Clearlake Capital co-founders Behdad Eghbali and Jose E. Feliciano, as well as other former bidders for the Broncos.

“Owning an NFL team is the ultimate trophy,” Jack Evans, a former DC Council member, said in a Thursday phone interview. “More than a baseball team, more than anything else for those who have that kind of money. It limits, however, the scope of who can buy it. The leagues want a person. They don’t want a group .

Evans, as head of the council’s finance committee, orchestrated deals that brought the new convention center, Capital One Arena and Nationals Park to the city. He said he believed “there was no turning back” for Snyder and that he had to sell the team. The price could be as high as $7 billion, Evans estimated.

Musk, who just struck a $44 billion deal to buy Twitter, is the richest person in the world, with a net worth estimated by Forbes at $200.7 billion. There is no indication at this point that he is interested in buying Commanders or any other NFL team. Neither he nor his representatives responded to requests for comment.

Leonsis, Rubenstein, Eghbali and Feliciano declined to comment through spokespersons. Eghbali and Feliciano reportedly made an offer for the Broncos after an earlier effort to buy a minority stake in the Commanders was rebuffed by Snyder.

Brewer: Daniel Snyder is trapped – and now Washington fans can dare to dream

La Poste reports in November 2020, former Snyder limited partners Dwight Schar, Fred Smith and Robert Rothman had received a $900 million offer from Eghbali, Feliciano and Feliciano’s wife, Kwanza Jones. The sale was stalled, people familiar with the situation said at the time, because Snyder was trying to exercise his right of first refusal by matching offers made to Smith and Rothman but not the offer made to Schar. This led to a dispute over whether Snyder had the right to exercise these rights selectively.

NFL Owners ratified a resolution in March 2021 granting Snyder a $450 million debt forgiveness that allowed him to buy, for 875 million dollarsthe stakes of Schar, Smith and Rothman, which totaled approximately 40% of the franchise.

Other NFL owners in the past have expressed a strong desire for Bezos to buy a team.

Amazon has become the exclusive national carrier for the Thursday Night Package as part of the NFL new broadcast deals announced last year. Amazon’s deal is said to be worth around $1 billion a year.

Bezos attended the Thursday night season opener worn by Amazon – the Chef-Chargers Game Sept. 15 in Kansas City, Mo. — and sat alongside Goodell for at least part of the game.

“I’m sure it would ultimately be in everyone’s best interest if someone as community-oriented as him got involved in the Seattle situation,” Kraft said. said in a 2019 interview with the Post.

The Seattle Seahawks are expected to be sold in the coming years by the trust of late owner Paul Allen, the former co-founder of Microsoft.

Jay-Z, whose first name is Shawn Carter, has formed a partnership with the NFL in 2019 to make his agency Roc Nation a co-producer of the Super Bowl halftime show. He is a former co-owner of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and has an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion, according to Forbes. Another person familiar with his thinking left open the possibility of a bid for the team, but added that Jay-Z would not pursue a minority stake in the franchise if Snyder remained majority owner.